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Northern Lights at Lava Centre


Welcome to the LAVA Centre’s Live Aurora Borealis Webcam

Experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland

A Magical Encounter in the heart of the south coast in Hella and Hvolsvöllur

Iceland, a country synonymous with natural wonders, offers one of the most breathtaking phenomena visible on Earth: the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. This celestial display of dancing lights, caused by the interaction of solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field, captivates all who witness it. While the Northern Lights can be seen from various locations across the globe during the right conditions, Iceland stands out as a premier destination for this awe-inspiring spectacle. It’s the only country where the lights can be observed from any point, making it a bucket-list location for enthusiasts and dreamers alike.

The northern lights run all over Iceland but only the northern part of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Aurora forecast from The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute

Enhance Your Aurora Viewing with the Northern Lights Webcam at LAVA Centre

At the heart of Iceland’s natural wonders, the LAVA Centre, in collaboration with Midgard Adventure, offers an invaluable tool for Northern Lights enthusiasts: a dedicated Northern Lights webcam. This innovative webcam allows individuals to monitor the skies for the aurora in real-time, providing a unique opportunity to observe the lights’ appearance both in advance and while in the area. Whether you’re planning your evening from the comfort of your accommodation or seeking the perfect moment to step outside and gaze upward, the Northern Lights webcam at the LAVA Centre is an essential resource. It not only enhances your chances of witnessing the spectacular aurora borealis but also adds a layer of convenience and excitement to your Icelandic adventure. By tuning into the webcam, visitors can make informed decisions, optimizing their viewing experience and ensuring they don’t miss out on this breathtaking natural phenomenon.

Recommended Activity near Lava Centre

The Charm of Hella and Hvolsvöllur

Nestled in the heart of the south of Iceland, the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur offer a unique vantage point for those eager to experience the Northern Lights. LAVA Centre, an interactive exhibition dedicated to Iceland’s volcanic activity, is situated in Hvolsvöllur but both of these towns provide the perfect backdrop for Aurora hunters. The area’s low light pollution and open landscapes allow for unobstructed views of the night sky, making it an ideal location for witnessing the Northern Lights.

Why Spend a Few Nights?

While the prospect of chasing the Northern Lights might seem thrilling, it often involves spending long hours in the cold night, traveling by bus from Reykjavik in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Aurora. This method, albeit adventurous, can sometimes lead to disappointment due to the unpredictable nature of the lights and the discomfort of the cold.

A more serene and comfortable alternative is to spend a few nights in Hella or Hvolsvöllur. Many hotels in these areas offer rooms with a view or notify guests when the Northern Lights make their appearance, ensuring that you won’t miss out on the opportunity to witness this natural marvel. This approach not only maximizes your chances of seeing the Northern Lights but also allows you to experience them from the comfort of your hotel room, away from the hustle and bustle of group tours.

The Northern Lights Experience

Witnessing the Northern Lights is more than just observing; it’s about feeling connected to the vastness of the universe. The area around the LAVA Centre, with its dramatic landscapes formed by centuries of volcanic activity, adds a profound sense of awe to the experience. Here, you can reflect on the Earth’s beauty and the forces that shape our world, all while watching the skies above you come alive with ethereal colors.

Maximizing Your Chances

To increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights, plan your visit between September and April, when the nights are the longest in Iceland. Clear, dark skies are essential, so keeping an eye on the weather forecast and solar activity reports can help you choose the best nights for your Northern Lights adventure.

The Hunt for Aurora

Aurora hunting refers to the activity of seeking out the best conditions and locations to view the aurora borealis or aurora australis. Aurora hunters are individuals who spend time researching weather patterns and geomagnetic activity to find clear, dark skies optimal for observing these natural light displays. This is a hobby in most countries but a serious profession amongst the guide community in Iceland, it combines planning and patience with the reward of seeing one of nature’s most stunning visual phenomena.

The concept of aurora hunting is often romanticized, and while it holds a certain allure, we at LAVA Centre believe that most of the time, it’s more enjoyable to await the Northern Lights from the comfort of your hotel or a dedicated observation site like Aurora Basecamp. These locations offer a warm, cosy environment from which to witness the magic of the auroras with ease and convenience.

  1. What month is best to see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

The best months to see the Northern Lights in Iceland are from late September to early April. During these months, the nights are long and dark, creating ideal conditions for observing the Aurora Borealis.

  1. Will I definitely see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

While Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, sightings cannot be guaranteed. The visibility of the Northern Lights depends on solar activity and clear, dark skies. Planning your visit during the peak season and monitoring aurora forecasts can increase your chances.

  1. Where is the best place in Iceland to see the Northern Lights?

The towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur in the South of Iceland are excellent places to witness the Northern Lights due to their low light pollution and beautiful landscapes. Additionally, areas away from city lights, such as Þingvellir National Park and the vicinity of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, offer fantastic backdrops for the lights.

  1. What is the best website for Aurora forecast in Iceland?

The Icelandic Meteorological Office website ( is a reliable source for Aurora forecasts in Iceland. It provides daily updates on Aurora activity and cloud cover, helping you plan your Northern Lights excursions.

  1. Can the Northern Lights be seen in Reykjavik?

Yes, the Northern Lights can sometimes be seen in Reykjavik on nights with high aurora activity and clear skies. However, light pollution in the city can diminish the experience, so it’s recommended to venture into the countryside for the best views.

  1. Do I need a camera to capture the Northern Lights?

While a camera isn’t necessary to enjoy the Northern Lights, bringing one can help you capture the moment. For the best photographs, use a camera with manual settings, a tripod, and a long exposure to capture the lights’ movement and colors.

  1. Can you recommend tour operators in the Hella and Hvolsvöllur area for Northern Lights viewing?

In the Hella and Hvolsvöllur area, two highly recommended tour operators specializing in Northern Lights excursions are Midgard Adventure and Southcoast Adventure. Both operators are known for their local expertise, offering guests unique insights into the best viewing spots, the science behind the Aurora Borealis, and captivating stories of local folklore. They provide a range of tours tailored to enhance your Northern Lights experience, ensuring you have the best chance of witnessing this spectacular phenomenon.

  1. What should I wear when going out to see the Northern Lights?

Dress in warm, layered clothing, including a waterproof outer layer, insulated boots, gloves, and a hat. Nights in Iceland can be very cold, especially when waiting outdoors to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

  1. Is it better to stay in one place or move around to find the Northern Lights?

We highly recommend finding accommodation in an area with little light pollution and attempting to view the Northern Lights from there, rather than embarking on a cold, potentially lengthy “hunt” for them. This approach not only increases your comfort but also enhances the experience by allowing you to witness the lights in a serene setting. Monitoring the weather and aurora forecasts from your chosen spot can inform you of the best times to watch the skies. Locations like Hella and Hvolsvöllur offer ideal conditions for this, with several accommodations providing excellent views and even alerts when the Northern Lights appear.

  1. Can the Northern Lights appear in colors other than green?

Yes, the Northern Lights can appear in several colors, including green, pink, purple, red, and blue. The color depends on the type of gas particles the solar particles collide with and the altitude at which these collisions occur. Green is the most common color, but under strong solar activity, more colors can appear.